December 15, 2022
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A new bipartisan bill backed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association seeks to ensure that truck drivers have access to restrooms while waiting at a shipper or receiver.
The bill was submitted by Troy Nehls, R-Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 15. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“I am proud to submit legislation to ensure our great American truckers have basic access to toilet facilities while working,” Nehls stated in a news release. “American truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them a duty of gratitude for the extraordinary efforts they made throughout the pandemic. “I am grateful to OOIDA and the Women in Trucking Association for collaborating with me on this critical legislation.”
OOIDA often hears accounts of truck drivers being rejected by shippers and receivers to use the restroom. The Association also lobbied for laws similar to what was recently approved in Washington.
“The men and women of America’s trucking business keep our supply chain running, and it’s only fair that their most basic needs be met while they’re on the job,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “We’ve heard from several drivers who were forced to ‘hold it’ because they weren’t allowed to use the restroom while picking up or delivering freight. We congratulate Reps. Nehls and Houlahan for their outstanding leadership on this topic, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with him and our coalition allies to see this legislation become law.”
The restroom legislation would:
- Require merchants, warehouses, and other companies to provide truckers access to restrooms while they pick up cargo or make deliveries.
- Businesses are not required to build new bathrooms. It simply states that if a business provides a bathroom for their customers or employees, truckers should have the same access.
- The operators of ports and terminals give bathroom access to drivers.
The Women In Trucking
The Women in Trucking Association also backs the bipartisan legislation.
“As more women enter the sector, there is a greater demand for restroom access while access to facilities is decreasing,” said Ellen Voie, president of the Women in Trucking Association. “We welcome Rep. Nehls’ and Rep. Houlahan’s support to mandate shippers and receivers to supply truckers this very fundamental necessity.”
According to Houlahan, toilet access is crucial in the trucking industry’s efforts to recruit additional drivers.
“We’ve seen time and time again that when we engage women in our employment, our economy prospers,” Houlahan added. “The trucking sector is no exception. But limiting access to bathrooms is putting that progress in peril. Our bipartisan proposal will give all truckers, especially female drivers, the confidence of having access to a restroom when delivering goods to American families.
“Especially as the trucking sector continues to confront employee retention issues, we must ensure that we provide truckers with a working environment that values their essential role in building our economy. Keeping more drivers on the road ultimately means fewer supply chain delays and cheaper expenses. I’m honored to work alongside Rep. Nehls on this honest initiative.” LL
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